Heading into the final period, Boston College women’s hockey was in familiar territory. The Eagles were trailing by one and looking for any opportunity to equalize. This time, unlike its previous game against Northeastern, it was BC who pulled away and secured a victory at home.
Through the first two periods, Delaney Belinskas, Kelly Browne, and Lindsay Agnew had all lit the lamp at least once, but the Eagles (12-9-2, 11-7-1 Hockey East) were still chasing Vermont (9-10-5, 6-8-3), which had notched five in the first two periods alone.
But with the game on the line and a losing streak of six behind them, the Eagles had a fire underneath them that the Catamounts simply couldn’t match.
It took until midway through the final period for the Eagles to equalize, but that gave them all the momentum they needed. A pass from Browne deep in her own defensive zone gave Belinskas a breakaway and her third of the night on an easy near-side finish.
Nine minutes later, the Eagles took the lead for the first time since the first minute of the game. Savannah Norcross wove through traffic all the way from the blue line and slid an off balance shot past Catamount goaltender Blanka Skodova.
With the clock winding down, UVM pulled Skodova in a desperate attempt to equalize the game, but Hannah Bilka found the empty net and finished the game two scores ahead.
Even though the final box score of 7-5 would imply an easy victory for the Eagles, it was quite the opposite. Up to the third period goal by Norcross, the Eagles hadn’t led since 43 seconds into the game, when Belinskas got on the board as she dove to slide the puck through Skodova’s pads.
From there, though, UVM capitalized on chance after chance to keep the Eagles at arm’s length. Skodova also had a large part in the team’s success, notching 27 saves on the night to prevent a runaway victory for the Eagles.
BC netminder Kelly Pickreign also did her fair share of work in front of the net, tallying 21 saves, including 12 in the second period alone.
The second frame was the deciding factor of the game, it seems, as both teams notched three goals in that period to create a high-scoring instant classic at Kelley Rink. First came an unassisted goal by Browne six minutes in after she intercepted a rogue pass from the UVM defenders.
UVM pulled ahead again, though, as Maude Poulin-Labelle brought the score to 3-2. Belinskas responded a minute later to tie the game, but the Catamounts did the same, twice in a row, to go ahead by two. In the final minute of the period, Lindsay Agnew nailed a far post shot to enter the final break down by one.
Interestingly enough, power plays, a moment where BC’s offense and defense both typically shine, were a non-factor for the Eagles in Friday’s game. They only recorded two power plays and managed just two shots in that time.
The Catamounts, on the other hand, had two power plays and notched a goal in each, which is surprising against BC’s stalwart penalty kill unit.
A thrilling comeback victory is just what the doctor ordered to snap the Eagle’s losing streak. They take on Vermont again on Saturday on Kelley Rink and can only hope to repeat their offensive success from Friday’s victory.
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor